Transcript for Staheli, John, The life of John and Barbara Staheli [ca. 1940], [2-3]

At Florence we were met by ox teams and wagons. Those were provided by the Church for which we were to pay after arriving in Utah. This fee was known as the Immigration Fund and was to be paid in yearly installments.

The company our family was in consisted of about fifty wagons with two families to a wagon. The company was well organized for the trip. A captain was appointed and everything was done in systematic order. Father [Johann George Staheli] was the bugler and gave the signals for the various orders. At an early hour in the morning he sounded the bugle for the people to get up, get breakfast, have prayers and prepare for the day's journey. When all was in readiness the bugle was again sounded and the captain led the train out in a single file. At noon and again in the evening the trains formed a large circle to protect themselves against the Indians and to provide a corral for the oxen. If the grass was not sufficiently plentiful the oxen were on the outside.

One day while traveling on the open prairie we were thrown into [illegible] stampeding the ox teams. But the wagons were heavily loaded and the oxen swerved from the road none of the wagons were overturned and no one was injured. There were about 150 wagons each being drawn by two or three yolk [yoke] of oxen. Around the evening campfires made mostly of buffalo chips, as we often enjoyed programs of singing and dancing, and other like entertainment. Many of the travelers had to walk, as the wagons had no room for them.

One day during the sudden electrical storm, three young women were walking along arm in arm, when a bolt of lightning struck the center girl, killing her instantly, but leaving the other two unharmed. This was a harrowing event. But the trip also had humorous happenings. One young lady had made herself annoying with her high-toned airs, and when they came to a river, the men were called on to carry children and helpless women across, all others being required to wade. With her fine cloths and fancy guitars this young women was assigned to Father to be carried across. He could not resist lowering her to the water to wade the last few yards, the same as her many less fortunate traveling sisters. Her predicament coused much merriment and had a good effect on her for the remainder of the journey.

When we arrived in Salt Lake City we were temporary located on the old Tithing Block near where the Hotel Utah now stands.